Isle of Wight County wraps up first forums on new comprehensive plan

Isle of Wight County wrapped up the first set of public forums on its comprehensive plan this week, and the county will analyze the input over the next two months to come up with possible land use scenarios.

The meetings and related online surveys are the first part of the county’s next comprehensive plan, set to be complete in 2019. At the forums, residents were asked what they like and dislike in the county as well as what future development in the county should look like. The forums, which began in June and ended this month, increased in attendance as more residents learned about them, Planning Director Amy Ring said.

More than 100 residents attended one of the eight meetings, and 550 completed an online survey.

Kathi Heriford of Carrollton attended the last forum at Carrollton Elementary School Thursday.

“A lot of people just let it (the comprehensive-plan process) happen, and they’re not even aware of it,” Heriford said.

Heriford would like the county to maintain its charisma and beauty, she said. The longtime resident moved to the county from Hampton, which she found to have too much traffic, she said.

The new developments in Carrollton have become too dense in Heriford’s opinion, and she would like to see future growth shift to Windsor and areas with more open space.

County employee Meagan Doggett came to the forum to hear residents’ opinions. Doggett grew up in Carrollton and now lives in Smithfield. She appreciates the rural beauty of the county but said it does need some growth.

William McCarty, vice chairman of the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors, said the feedback from the public forums echoes concerns he’s heard from residents in the past, like providing good schools, roads, jobs and housing.

Staff will analyze the suggestions and comments in August and…

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